In the remote and mysterious Moomin Valley live the Moomin trolls, gentle and peaceful creatures. Young Moomin and his family experience many strange adventures, both magical and mundane. Based on the children's stories by Tove Jansson.
*English is not my first language! This review will be edited... eventually!*
I think it should only be appropiate to give my very first review to the very first anime I've ever seen... and it would be this! Moomins, or Muumilaakson Tarinoita, as it would be called here in Finland, is by no doubt, one of the very best works of anime, that I've ever seen - period. Not necesarily the best because of the plot, nor even the story, but because of the characters, and the world they bring to life, simply just by being there.
As a child, I grew up watching this anime,
and I didn't even realize it was an anime, before finishing high school, thinking it's just some swedish cartoon - yeah, I was stupid! Now, I'm not really good at reviewing something, that I love, so let me just put it bluntly...
Moomins is a fantastic little slice-of-life story in a fantastic world, full of fantastic creatures and stories, that should belong to any little finns bookshelves - Moomins was originally a bookseries first! Not nescessarily ment for little little children per say, but good stuff nontherless!
The story is... well, there really isn't one! Like I said, it is, down to it's core, just some slice-of-life storytelling. No big conflicts, villains or actual from-the-beginning-to-the-end- stroyarcs, and that alone can be either a rose or con to any viewer. There are little storypieces here and there, but no any big arcs - just needing to clarify that!
But, what's the plot, then? There are these cute little moomins, with their colorful and delightful little friends, and because there's no school, jobs or social insecurity - whatever that is! - they spend their days by just... running around in this ever-so peaceful and beautiful moomin valley, find secrets and solve mysteries, all in a while waiting for ever-looming winter, that will by every coming year, put every singe one of them into a deep sleep, before the next warm summer. It's basically just... life - nothing more, nothing less! Some minor arcs, or themes may pop up in every now and then, such as the Lighthouse-arc, with it's fear of loneliness, the Little Visitors with stranger-danger- warning signs all over, and the King Ruby, with the themes of materialistic obsession, but those aren't even that long to beging with - about two to three episodes - and won't take away that certain sence of travel with no goal, as you move along, with the show.
The "story" itself is not even that hard to follow, and that's only to be expected from a show, made for (nordic/melancholic) kids. As a child, you can just let yourself enjoy all the fun adventures, all the lovable characters, and their antics, as well as have a few frights and sad tears here and there - I swear, that Groke still gives me shivers! But, just because Moomins was originally intented to entertain children - in my mindset, anyway - it still doesn't mean that it can't age well, or be even more relevant to us adults! As an adult, you can still enjoy all the same things, as you did as a child, but this time, you have an experience of an adult, replaced with the innocence of an child, and now, you can marvel the subtle philosophies, wisdoms and lessons, that either did scar you for life, or give you now that little spark of hope, when winter seems to just go on, and on, and the warm days of summer seem ever so distant, and gray. Moomins remaind me - adult, by definition of a word - that not all good things in the world come with a pricetag, and sometimes, it's okay to just be who you are, flaws and all, and just sometimes, the world itself is way too big and mysterious place, to try to even comprehend it. Moomins feed that little child in me, and I simply love it!
The characters in moomin valley, are the force, that keeps this show alive, and real. Every single character is like a someone, who you know, used to know, or would like to know, in real life. You want to be hugged by a mama moomin, you want to listen papa moomin's stories, and have all these crazy adventures with him - or not, if you want to hold your booze *wink*. You want to watch stars with Snuffkin, and wonder, what life even is, and what for. You want to play all day with Moomin trollen and pals, and kick Stincky's ass, when he's teasing and bullying poor little Ninni - am I spelling it right? None of them are completly white, or black by moral, and that's what makes them realistic, and... well, alive, like real people. They may not be the deepest, most multi-dimentional characters you're ever seen in terms of a storytelling or characterization, but they all feel like real people, and that's exactly, what I wanted as a child, and now, as an adult - real, lovable and colorful people, with realistic personalities, that are just simple enought, that you feel like you know them enough, but feel like there's still something beneath them... something secret, and maybe even a little bit darker, than you'd think.
That said, Moomins sertainly isn't for everybody, and that comes from a finnish person. Some of the stories, themes, situations and characters may indeed scare some of the smallest in the family, and some may not be able to get ovet the fact, that there really isn't any big picture/lead/red string in the story, or that the characters never really change - they are, what they are, and that's that. Like already said above, there are some little arcs here and there, like The Exploits of Moominpappa, Moominsummer Madness, and Moominland Midwinter, based on the original books, by Tove Jansson, but that's about it - no big plot twists or revelations of bigger scale. There's also no actual villain/s, nor big threat/s or conflict/s, and in the end... pretty sad ending too, with two best friends departing, and never seeing eachother again - one of the biggest tear-jerkers of my childhood/anime-life!
The original books are also way more darker, and gloomier, with all-so-subtle references on booze, drugs, and even heavier philosophies and darker themes like death, suicide and abandonment, but that's just us finns for ya! Little bit dark, mixed with a little bit of cuteness! Also, although this series was drawn in Japan, I'll be damned if anyone can find this in its entirety in any other languages than finnish, swedish or japanese, which can also be a big turn-off for some!
All in all, I would warmily recommend this series with a full heart, and not just for kids... or just for finns/swedish. It's a fantastic world, with fantastic characters, and cute yet meaningful stories and themes, that I for one haven't yet found from anywhere else, from any other franchise. I've always known, that if we all could live even just one year in a place like Moomin valley, we all would possibly be... maybe not better, but changed people, and that thought alone, makes me wanna travel that far away distant place time, and time again.
Having watched every episode there is of this show the three past months, I can safely say that the Moomins will fit everyone with a sense of adventure. It's calm, it's exciting, and most of all, the characters are lovable.
The series follows the basic formula of nearly every other Anime. Something happens, the Moomin family must fix it and everything turns out well. However, the series isn't completely episodic. There is a handful of episodes which introduces new characters, while others add background history, giving more depth to the main characters. The best way to watch this is in chronological order.
The animation is fantastic and
superior compared with the second series, "Tanoshii Muumin Ikka Bouken Nikki". Everything is fluid, nothing is crudely drawn and the backgrounds are beautiful. The music is a masterpiece in itself and will stick itself to your brain for months. The same goes for the opening and ending. Season 3 introduces some new music which isn't as great as the prior, but it still fits the series.
No matter what age you are, you should give this a try. This is a smash hit in scandinavian countries (and, of course, Japan), and with good reason. Every episode will make you feel like home. The enviroments are beautiful and there will be many instances where you wish you lived in the moomin valley: not having to worry about getting a job, going to school or any criminals (Stinky isn't really dangerous anyways). This is a perfect, peaceful life, where only their own mistakes and curiosity makes each adventure possible. This is the life of the Moomins.
As a first review of mine, It is fitting to begin with the series me and many others have first seen. To summarize, this is an excellent adaptation of the original stories, and has established itself as one of the best children's anime series that also adults can easily appreciate. This review is based on the Finnish dubbed version.
Story arcs of the original work are split into singular episodes and larger arcs of several episodes. It is in the latter that this adaptation truly shines. While these are self-contained stories, I recommend viewing the series in chronological order. The changing of seasons is an
important driving force in the story, and many of the plots are interconnected, rewarding dedicated viewers with an engrossing view of life in the Moomin Valley.
The art is phenomenal. From the characters to representation of the scenery, the art of the series lends itself as a focal point for conveying the story.
The soundtrack of the series is very captivating, and varied. Tranqul moments, sense of adventure, danger, and happy reunions, there is a perfectly fitting music for every occasion.
The Finnish and other western airings of the show had opening and closing themes more upfitting, catchy tone than the Japanese. Ultimately the Japanese original lends itself as a better version conveying the wide spectrum tones present in stories, and does not wear on your ears when viewing multiple episodes in a row.
The last thing to mention is the Finnish dub cast which is as fitting for the characters as you could imagine.
Character designs are very well adapted and lovable. Although there are some tonal differences with the characters to the way they are represented in the books, the main aspects are definitely there, and the voice actors really help in conveying the
Even after seeing all the episodes as a kid, I've grown a great appreciation to the creators of the series for making this adaptation. Regardless, you are in for a treat whenever you will take a visit to the Moomin Valley when watching this series.
The Moomin series adapts the stories presented in the source material masterfully, complemented by perfectly fitting visuals and audio.
Ah, my childhood. I grew up watching Moomins and absolutely loved them. The first season is just such a masterpiece, if there was only that season, I'd give Tanoshii Muumin Ikka ten stars without hesitation. But the season two just ruined it for me. The animation and the stories got so much worse. The only thing that never changed was the quality of the voice acting (I'm talking about the Finnish 90's dubbing here). There were almost no stiff moments in the dubbing. And of course I have to mention the art. The character designs, the landscapes... everything! Moomins are a masterpiece, no doubt. 9
stars for this wholesome show I got to watch.
Home is where the heart is, but sometimes, people need more than just love. Ever fantasized about living in your anime dream house? Come check out this collection of 15 magnificent anime houses, each unique in their own way. Some are beautiful and cozy, while others have more extravagant forms!
Let's take a quick jog around memory lane and remember those anime you used to watch and enjoy as kids. Feel the nostalgia and see if your favorites made the list and discover more that other children enjoyed.